Quentin Tarantino, the filmmaker most synonymous with Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, has said he previously knew about some of the producer’s alleged sexual misconduct — and feels that he should have done more about it.
After previously issuing a brief reaction through actress Amber Tamblyn, saying he was “stunned and heartbroken” about the allegations leveled against his longtime producing partner, the Pulp Fiction director opened up about what he was aware of and why he didn’t put a stop to it in a New York Times interview published Thursday.
“I knew enough to do more than I did,” Tarantino told the Times, the outlet that published the initial exposé detailing Weinstein’s alleged behavior. “There was more to it than just the normal rumors, the normal gossip. It wasn’t secondhand. I knew he did a couple of these things.”
Among the incidents Tarantino said he’d been aware of was Weinstein’s alleged unwelcome pursuit and touching of Tarantino’s former girlfriend, Mira Sorvino (who detailed the encounter in a recent New Yorker story). “I was shocked and appalled,” said Tarantino, who at the time felt like the problem was resolved, rationalizing that “ won’t mess with her, he knows that she’s my girlfriend.”
“I wish I had taken responsibility for what I heard,” Tarantino said, adding that he “chalked it up to a ’50s-’60s-era image of a boss chasing a secretary around the desk. … What I did was marginalize the incidents. Anything I say now will sound like a crappy excuse.”
The two men have been linked since the beginning of Tarantino’s career. Dating back to his directorial debut, 1992’s Reservoir Dogs, all of Tarantino’s films have been affiliated with companies run by Weinstein (first Miramax, then The Weinstein Co.). Earlier this year, Weinstein even threw Tarantino a party to celebrate his recent engagement.
“Everyone who was close to Harvey had heard of at least one of those incidents,” Tarantino said of the New York Times and New Yorker exposés. “It was impossible they didn’t.” Amid the mounting accusations, Tarantino said, he reached out to Weinstein, who he believes needs to “face the music,” but got no reply.
In response to the allegations, a representative for Weinstein said, “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein.”
Speaking to the Times, Tarantino also called on “the other guys who knew more to not be scared. Don’t just give out statements. Acknowledge that there was something rotten in Denmark. Vow to do better by our sisters.” He added, “What was previously accepted is now untenable to anyone of a certain consciousness.”